London: Valerie Trierweiler, the partner of Francois Hollande, who will become the new French First Lady, said she cannot believe her ears when she is described as the equivalent of Michelle Obama.
The 47-year-old old twice-divorced and mother-of-three is set to become the first unmarried ‘Premiere Dame’ in history to enter the Elysee Palace on the arm of the country’s most powerful man.
The feisty magazine journalist was revealed as Hollande’s lover when he separated from the mother of his four children, the politician Segolene Royal, with whom he lived for 30 years.
She will be at the new president’s side as he is sworn in to office next Tuesday and they are expected to move into the Elysee together, the Daily Mail reported.
“When you say I’m the equivalent of Michelle Obama, I don’t believe my eyes or my ears,” Trierweiler told The Times while giving her first interview since Sunday’s election.
She said as first lady she would relish the role of representing France as an ambassador.
“This role makes me a little uncomfortable but I will manage very well if it is not limited to just that,” she said.
“I want to represent the image of France, do the necessary smiling, be well dressed, but it shouldn’t stop there. I will not be une potiche (a decorative vase),” she added.
In the interview, Trierweiler said she is having difficulties coming to terms with not being able to go anywhere without a security guard.
The mother, who has sons aged, 15, 17 and 19, grew up in Loire Valley in central France but has spent most of her adult life in Paris.
She has lived with Hollande - the self-styled ‘Mr Normal’ who has risen from obscurity to the presidency in a year - since 2007.
Hollande makes much of his roots in Rouen, the dull Normandy city that reflects his desired provincial image as the hard-working son of a doctor father and social worker mother.
His former partner Segolene Royal was the Socialist candidate in the 2007 presidential election.
A year after the poll the couple announced they were splitting because he was having an affair with Trierweiler.
The journalist also revealed she first met Hollande 23 years ago when she was a political reporter. He was married with a family, but otherwise leading a fairly routine existence.
She did not get involved in the campaign but said that she discusses politics with him all the time even though she does not interfere with his decision-making.